Srinagar, Oct 21 : Jammu & Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Wednesday thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Union Cabinet for approving the market intervention scheme (MIS) to help the horticulture sector and apple growers in Kashmir.
Thanking the Prime Minister and the Union Cabinet that approved the MIS, Sinha said in a statement, “The scheme is a great relief for apple growers. It will provide a comprehensive insurance cover against any obstacle thus helping in stabilising the income of the apple farmers. It will also address all issues related to marketing and transportation, in addition, to providing optimum returns to apple growers.”
“Since 12 LMT of apples can be procured under this scheme, besides ensuring profitability, it will also create rural employment through supplementary services such as packaging, transportation etc.”
The scheme was launched for the first time in the history of J&K during September 2019. It was widely appreciated by apple growers across J&K. The scheme stabilised the prices of apples in the market and ensured to contain the distress sales.
Under the scheme, apples will be procured by National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd (NAFED) directly from the growers/aggregators at optimum prices at 5 designated Collection Centres (Fruit & Vegetable Mandis) in Sopore (Baramulla), Parimpora (Srinagar), Shopian, Kulgam and Anantnag.
The payment will be directly credited into the bank accounts of the growers through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) mode. The scheme, among others, will address all issues including marketing and grading of apples, procurement and storage. The scheme has been launched after taking into consideration the demands of apple growers.
The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister, has also allowed NAFED to utilise government guarantee of Rs 2,500 crore for this operation. The losses, if any, to be incurred in this operation will be shared between the central government and UT administration of J&K on 50:50 basis.
Necessary infrastructure/facilities have been created at the designated collection centres for smooth operationalisation of the scheme. Senior-level functionaries from Horticulture Department will be monitoring and supervising the procurement at the Mandis. Representatives from NAFED and National Horticulture Board will be associated with the procurement and other processes along with staff drawn from the Horticulture/Agriculture Departments.
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